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Crimea to remain part of Ukraine — Yankukovich

February 28, 2014, 19:11 UTC+3 ROSTOV-ON-DON
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ROSTOV-ON-DON, February 28. /ITAR-TASS/. Crimea should remain an integral part of Ukraine, President Viktor Yanukovych told a news conference here Friday.

“I think the events unfolding in Crimea now are an absolutely natural reaction to the gangster coup, which has occurred in Kiev, and to the usurping of power by a bunch or radicals who stand aside from the 45-million-strong population of the country,” he said.

“The Crimeans don’t want to take orders from the nationalist and neo-Nazis and the willingness of ordinary people in the Crimea to organize self-defense detachments is absolutely,” Yanukovych said. “They have a natural wish to defend their families and homes, and it is only natural.”

He also called on the residents of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea “to avert bloodshed and feud.”

“As Ukraine’s effective President I’d like to tell you that Crimea should remain a part of Ukraine but the one enjoying a broad autonomy,” Yanukovich said.

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